NBA Finland: the complaint against the treatment of Malmi Airport in the General Plan for Helsinki is justified
1 September 2004
Statement of the National Board of Antiquities Finland to the Administrative Court of Helsinki, concerning the complaint filed by the Friends of Malmi Airport Society against the General Plan 2002 for Helsinki:
The complaint against the treatment of Malmi Airport in the General Plan for Helsinki is justified
The National Board of Antiquities (NBA) Finland has on 24 August 2004 issued to the Administrative Court of Helsinki a statement concerning two complaints filed against the decision of Helsinki City Council to approve the proposed General Plan 2002 for Helsinki. The complaints concerned Patterinmäki in Pajamäki and Malmi Airport. The complaint filed by the Friends of Malmi Airport Society, as far as it concerns the protection of building culture and cultural landscape, is considered by the NBA to be well grounded and justified. The NBA has made its stand on Malmi Airport known to the City of Helsinki in its statements concerning the Draft General Plan 2002 for Helsinki and the General Plan 2002 Proposal. In its statements, the NBA has expressed that the buildings and runways of Malmi Airport form a significant entity from the point of view of traffic history, cultural history and the history of architecture. The national significance of the site is completely ignored in the summary of the General Plan. The NBA expressed that the allocation of the area to residential purposes in the proposed General Plan should be removed and that the area should be reserved to its present purpose. The significance of Malmi Airport as an internationally valuable site is indicated by its selection to the World Monuments Watch Programme List of 100 Most Endangered Cultural Sites in 2003 as one of only a few sites representing modern architecture. In the process of drafting the Uusimaa Regional Plan, replacement sites for Malmi Airport have been sought for without success. The premise of the Helsinki General Plan 2002 Proposal has been the transfer of airfield activities to another location and the allocation of the area to residential purposes. The possibilities and need to preserve the aviation activities at Malmi permanently and the effects of the Airport on the regional structure have at no stage been seriously and adequately investigated. The General Plan 2002 does not protect with adequate permanence the especially significant cultural-historical entity consisting of the Airport buildings, the runways and the use of the site to its original purpose. The resolution of the General Plan does not support efforts to restore the buildings of the Airport or to develop the activities and sightseeing potential of the site to a more versatile direction taking into account its historical premises.
Erkki Härö, research associate, tel. (09) 4050 9475, erkki.haro(at)nba.fi